Europe 1997: Fiat Punto crowned for the first time
After leading for 4 months in 1995-1996, the Fiat Punto finally makes its mark over the European car market and puts an end to 14 years of uninterrupted domination by the VW Golf. The Fiat Punto is #1 during 10 out of 12 months this year, the Golf popping up to #1 in April and the Ford Fiesta leading a very odd month of August.
The Italian superstar sells 588,590 units this year, up 5%, and the VW Golf drops to #2 at 503,000 units (-21%). The Golf 4 launched in September to an extremely slow start, to the point where the Opel Corsa, #3 at 500,000 sales (+3%), and the Opel Astra, #4 at 498,000 (-2%), nearly passed it. Boosted by very strong sales of the Scenic SUV version, the Renault Megane is up 35% and 5 spots this year at #5.
The Opel Vectra stays very strong and leads its category at #9 with 385,800 sales, partly due to its success in the UK. Notice the Fiat Bravo/Brava breaking into the Top 10 briefly: #9 in February at 29,510 sales and in March at 34,750, the nameplate’s best position and volume still to this date.
Full Year 1997 and January to August Monthly Top 10 Ranking Tables below.
You can check out every monthly Top 10 from January to August here: Europe 1997 Monthly.
Europe Full Year 1997: